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Selling Your Home

Step 1: Get Started

  • Find a real estate agent

    To find a reputable real estate agent, ask your colleagues, friends, and family for referrals. It’s important to choose an agent you are comfortable with and can provide the knowledge and services you need.

  • Price your homes

    Your agent will research sale prices on other comparable homes in your neighborhood to help you set your sale price.  It’s important to get the price right the first time.

Tools to get started

  What Home Means to Me

  Budget worksheet

Step 2: Prepare for Market

  • Make repairs or upgrades

    Your agent can help you determine which ones will have the greatest impact for the least cost.

  • Get rid of clutter and depersonalize your home

    Buyers need to imagine themselves in your home. Some things to consider:

    • Donating items you no longer need or discarding those that no longer work
    • Renting a storage unit to store a portion of your belongings while your house is on the market
    • Removing some of the more personal photos on your walls and mantels
  • Clean, clean, clean

    Wipe down every surface, vacuum and dust thoroughly, clean the windows, and air out the home.

  • Have your home photographed

    Your agent will likely hire a professional photographer to help your home look its best.

Tools to get started

  Video: 3 Tips for Staging Your Home

  Did you know the typical home buyer will visit 10 homes over a 10-week period before buying?

Step 3: List and Show Your Home

  • List your home with the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)

    Your agent will list your home for sale on the MLS, an online database where buyers and agents search for homes. Your agent will likely include a description of your home and photos.

  • Consider an open house

    Talk with your agent about the possibility of having an open house.

  • Use a lockbox

    Your agent can arrange to have your front door equipped with a lockbox, which allows authorized agents to show your home. Lockboxes generally help get more showings than appointments.

  • Always be ready

    Be prepared to leave your home at a moment’s notice to allow buyers to tour your home with their agents.

Tools to get started

  What Home Means to Me

  Did you know 7 to 10 percent of the sale price is generally what it costs to sell your home, with the agent’s commission being the largest expense?

Step 4: Evaluate and Negotiate Offers

  • Ask your agent for advice

    If your home is priced right, you could receive multiple offers, which your agent can help you evaluate and negotiate, as needed.

  • Negotiate the offer

    If you receive a low offer, consider negotiating with a counter offer. Your agent can provide guidance and will conduct the negotiations with the buyer.

Tools to get started

  What Home Means to Me

  Estimate what your closing costs might be.

Step 5: Settle and close

  • Get ready

    Once you accept an offer, you’re in the final stretch, which includes getting ready for closing and your move.

  • Negotiate items from inspection

    If the buyer requests any repairs as a result of the home inspection, you’ll need to negotiate and possibly repair the items identified.

  • Prepare for closing

    Your agent can assist as you prepare for closing, when you’ll finalize the payoff of your mortgage, receive the funds for the sale of your home, and hand over the keys to the buyer.

Tools to get started

  Video: 3 Tips for Staging Your Home

  Blog: Closing: What to Expect

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